Have you been working hard at losing those last ten pounds? Are you happy with your efforts, or do you feel like you are stuck in the inside lane of a London roundabout with no clue how to access the exit ramp?
You watch what you eat, eat breakfast every day, skip dessert, and exercise regularly and STILL look down and see that last little roll of belly fat peeking out over your jeans. I can totally relate to your frustration.
Before you purchase another celebrity diet book, consider this different approach. Your body might be holding on to that last little roll of belly fat not because of what you are eating, but how you are eating!
Do you eat most meals in the company of your computer screen, television or tablet pal? Do you snack while standing up in front of the refrigerator, walking between meetings, or driving in your car?
If so, this could be the source of the problem. With just a few little tweaks to your daily routine, you can lose the extra fluff around the middle without restricting your food intake.
- Eating on the go or while pre-occupied with a deadline, phone call or incoming message will increase your body's stress response, which will stimulate the release of cortisol.
- When you rush your meals and wolf down your snacks, without chewing properly, you compromise your body's ability to metabolize food.
- When your attention is not fully focused on your food, then you totally miss the eating experience. Did you ever reach for the last bite of that energy bar to find that it had already been eaten? When your body is cheated of the sensations of eating, it is going to signal to you that it wants more food.
These three factors lead to weight gain. Reduce these conditions and lose weight.
I know, easier said than done. Here are five things you can do to jumpstart weight loss without diet or exercise:
- Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to sit down and eat breakfast. Wake up early or pick your outfit for the day out the night before.
- Make it a rule that the kitchen table is a gadget-free zone. Savor your food and enjoy the company of those around you.
- If you must eat in transit, take the time to park the car to have your meal or snack, rather than dashboard dining. If possible, stop at a park, get out and sit in the fresh air while you eat.
- Start a lunch bunch. Grab a few colleagues to get on board with bringing back the lunch hour – at least once each week. Your waistline and your health will improve and the company will not shut down as a result.
- If you must eat under stressed conditions, take five deep, cleansing breaths before you dig in. This will help your body get into a relaxed state and reduce the effects of less than ideal dining conditions.
I get it. We are an on-the-go culture. You are busy, rushed and have to be three places at once. But consider the cost of this adrenaline-pumping lifestyle. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "There is more to life than increasing its speed." And let's admit it, Gandhi was no slacker.
Try these strategies out for the next four weeks. Relax and know that you can always return to your old ways. But if you find those extra pounds slowly melting away, you may not want to!
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